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Welcome to the August edition of IMHN’s newsletter for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

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Content headnote – this mailout contains or links to webpages or files with mentions of the following topics: the coronavirus (COVID-19), suicide and suicide prevention, peer support, mental health training, carers, strokes, eating disorders, autism, sound sensitivity, self-injury, vaccinations, health appointments, immigration, mental health services. Text Box:  

Independent Mental Health Network – South West Newsletter – August 2021  

Welcome to the August edition of the Independent Mental Health Network’s newsletter for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire! Read on for updates from IMHN; as well as news and opportunities from the area.   If there is something that we have missed, or you would like to see included in our next newsletter, please email, and we will do our best to include it in September’s edition!   Text Box:  

Updates from IMHN  

Health systems are changing to operate more locally.

A large-scale mental health service transformation programme is also taking place.   IMHN’s mental health lived experience representatives are supporting both of these programmes across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Our members and reps are also supporting projects to improve mental health telephone helplines, develop trauma-informed approaches for mental health services, rollout of mental health support teams in schools, and much more.   Text Box:  	 	 

Click here to watch a video, produced by NHS England and NHS Improvement, that explains the scale of local community mental health transformation.   Text Box:  

Other news from IMHN   June’s Suicide Prevention Summit saw the launch of the Suicide Prevention Initiative – calling for 10,000 people in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas to complete the Zero Suicide Alliance’s free online training so more people can play a part in saving lives. This training shows how to have a direct and honest conversation about suicide with friends and family. It combines facts with real life stories to show the impact it can have on people’s lives.   The training takes 20 minutes – complete it today!   Text Box:  	 	 

We are currently gathering feedback about the following services/support:  

Mental health telephone lines in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (Vita 24/7 Support & Connect, AWP’s response line, and 111). Click here to complete our survey.  

‘Attend Anywhere’: have you used ‘Attend Anywhere’ for remote health appointments recently? Did it help the appointment run smoothly? Let us know your thoughts by sending a confidential email to   Text Box:  

Upcoming dates for your diary   Trans Pride South West – ‘T in the Park’ Saturday 31 July from 1pm Join Trans Pride South West for a picnic in Bristol’s Castle Park at 1pm. Bring your own food and drink (non-alcoholic). Bring friends! Open to everybody including allies of the trans / non-binary community. For more information, click here.   Text Box:  	 	 

Love Your Park Community Fund webinar Monday 2 August, 5 – 6pm – online If you are a small group and interested in applying for a small grant to run a community project in your local park, there is a Zoom webinar on Monday 2 August to support your application. For more information about the webinar (and the grant), click here.   Text Box:  	 	 

BAME Mental Health Network Meeting Tuesday 3 August – online Join CASS, Rethink and Nilaari for a Mental Health Network Meeting specifically for People of Colour/ People of Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities. This session will be held on Zoom and will focus on the impact of the last 18 months on children and young people of BAME origins, and what is available to support them. For more information, please email   Text Box:  	 	 

Gardening for wellbeing course Starting Wednesday 11 August Join a six-week gardening for wellbeing course at The Community Farm in Chew Magna. This course will show what you can do in your garden to improve your wellbeing. Click here for more information.   Text Box:  	 	 

Fempowerment workshop Tuesday 24 August, 10am – 4pm – 8-10 West Street, Old Market, Bristol BS2 0BH Fempowerment is a one day workshop for people aged 15-25 to celebrate feminism and empower girls, women and femme people (non-binary and trans inclusive). The workshop will look at gender, consent, body image, and rights. Expect discussions, activities, exchanging ideas and experiences. Click here to signup today.   Text Box:  	 	 

Project Zazi’s Summer Programme Throughout August 2021 Join Project Zazi for their series of summer events for young Black people and People of Colour across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Click here for the schedule and to book onto a session.   Text Box:  

Training and courses   Due to popular demand, the North Somerset Wellbeing Service are running another online Emotional Coping Skills course, which helps people to have better emotional awareness and teaches them techniques, such as distress tolerance skills. This course starts on Tuesday 24 August, and will run for six weeks. The course will take place on Zoom. Click here to book onto the course. For more information, email (or call 0333 023 3504).   Text Box:  	 	 

The Bristol Wellbeing College are currently offering a mix of virtual and in-person sessions. Click here for the programme for August.   Text Box:  	 	 

More free online training: Psychological first aid training from Public Health England Suicide prevention and awareness training from the Zero Suicide Alliance North Somerset Council’s Public Mental Health training timetable Thrive Bristol’s free mental health training SLaM (South London and Maudsley) mental health courses and webinars   Text Box:  

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Surveys, involvement and research   The local health system is currently consulting on changes to stroke care. Proposed changes include improvements to emergency treatment, ongoing hospital treatment and care, and in-patient rehabilitation services. You can find the full proposals (with explanatory information), and the consultation by clicking here.   Text Box:  	 	 

Kooth provides digital mental health services for adults, and are working on making their service inclusive of different population groups and cultures. Kooth have got in touch and asked us to share a survey specifically designed for men between the ages of 26 – 45 years old from ethnic minority backgrounds. They are inviting men from this group to share their insights and experiences of mental health support. Click here to complete the survey today.   Text Box:  	 	 

Bristol Health Partners’ Eating Disorder Health Integration Team (EDHIT) have got in touch asking us to share their survey about Living with an eating disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to be taken to the survey page.   Text Box:  	 	 

Researchers based at the University of Exeter HS&DR Evidence Synthesis Centre would like to speak to people who use (or have used) peer support, to see what they think about an evidence map they are developing. Online meetings will be held to discuss this. The participation payment is £35. If you are interested in contributing, contact Sian de Bell at   A research team is looking for autistic people who are affected by sound sensitivity, to help the team plan their literature review. The research team would like to ask you questions about how you experience sound sensitivity. An online group meeting is taking place on Thursday 5 August at 18:00. The research team can provide you with a £20 voucher for your time and help. For more information, contact Abi Egid at   Text Box:  	 	 

Other surveys still open: Compassion in healthcare (University study) Bristol Disability Equality Forum’s survey on changes to transport, our homes, our energy use, our air, our green spaces, and jobs   Text Box:  

Local groups and support   At June’s Suicide Prevention Summit, Second Step announced the launch of the Beside project. This project offers emotional and practical support to anyone over 16 who has lost a loved one to suicide. Click here to read more.   Our friends at Changes Bristol run support groups dedicated to women of colour. It is a safe, friendly space where women can talk about any worries they might have with people who may have had similar experiences. The group meets every Monday online at 6.30pm. Get in touch with for more information about how to join!   Text Box:  	 	 

Mind Without Borders is run by Bristol Mind. Refugees and Asylum Seekers can join the project’s Greenspace and Wellbeing sessions every Thursday at 1pm. Sessions are held at Boiling Wells (near St Werburgh’s City Farm). Please email or call 07377 877303 for more information or to book your place.   Click here for details about opportunities taking place at Tortworth Arboretum – they run sessions and projects for people experiencing mental health challenges.   On the first Wednesday and the third Thursday of the month, Wellbeing Friends meet at the Winterbourne Community Centre. Click here to download their flyer, which has more information.   Text Box:  

Other updates Everyone aged 18 and over can now book their COVID-19 vaccination. You can either book your jab, or attend one of a number of walk-in clinics available locally. Click here for more details or to book an appointment now.   Remember: the NHS will never ask you to confirm your bank details, or send any sort of payment for a vaccine. If you are contacted asking you for either of these things, it is a scam.  In July, Community Access Support Service (CASS) Bristol ran a series of Stories from the City events. Click here to be taken to a playlist of videos and recordings from the events.   Text Box:  	 	 

The Bristol health and care system has received new funding from the government to help adults in the city facing disadvantages such as homelessness, mental health problems, substance issues, domestic abuse and in the criminal justice system. Click here to read the news article, published by Golden Key.   Text Box:  	 	 

Invisible Army is the name of a project highlighting the work of Bristol’s 40,138 unpaid carers. To keep up to date, visit their website ( For more information, contact   Text Box:  	 	 

Women Listening To Women is a community history project about the Bristol Crisis Service for Women (BCSW), being organised by Self Injury Support. Did you volunteer for the BCSW? Self Injury Support would love to hear from you. Click here to find out more about the project.   The Bristol Health Partners’ annual review showcases the work of the partnership. The review includes updates from Bristol’s Health Integration Teams (HITs), as well as the partnership’s response to COVID-19. Click here to access the annual review.   Text Box:  

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Opportunities and roles The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is recruiting new Trustees. Click here for instructions on how to apply.   Voscur is recruiting for a Support & Development Officer. This role will build on volunteering seen in Bristol during the Covid-19 pandemic and support community organisations to develop and connect with others. Click here to access the job description and for details how to apply. Applications close on Monday 9 August.   Text Box:  	 	 

Mind are looking for three new trustees to join their board from December 2021. Trustees will help set the future direction of Mind. For full details, click here. Applications close on Monday 9 August.   Text Box:  	 	 

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership are looking for a neurodiversity and hidden impairments trainer to work alongside the Arts psychotherapy team to deliver training and raising awareness to staff around neurodiversity/hidden impairments within inpatient services. If you would like more information, please contact   Text Box:  

Upcoming branch meetings The next monthly meeting of the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network takes place on Monday 9 August (the second Monday of the month) at 1pm.   Text Box:  

The next monthly meeting of Clarity-North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network is to be confirmed.   Text Box:  

The South Gloucestershire Wellbeing Network is a collaboration between Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, IMHN and South Gloucestershire Council. The next meeting takes place on Thursday 5 August.   Text Box:  

All members of IMHN will be sent a separate email with join links for each meeting in their local area with further details and joining instructions.   Text Box:  

Click here for more information about the Independent Mental Health Network, and to join as a member today.

Independent Mental Health Network, Unit 50, Equinox South, Great Park Road, Bristol BS32 4QL